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Chapter 4: Ecosystems & Communities

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1 Chapter 4: Ecosystems & Communities

2 Section 4.1 – The Role of Climate
In Earth’s atmosphere, temperature, precipitation, and other environmental factors combine to produce weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of Earth’s atmosphere at a particular time and place. The weather may be clear and sunny one day and cold and rainy the next.

3 Climate is the average, year-to-year conditions of temperature and precipitation in a particular region.

4 Factors that Determine Climate
Trapping of heat by the atmosphere The latitude Transportation of heat by winds and ocean currents The amount of precipitation The shape and elevation of the land Presence of certain gases in the atmosphere

5 The Greenhouse Effect In addition to being the main source of energy for life on Earth, sunlight drives both weather and climate. Temperatures on Earth remain within a suitable range for life because the biosphere has a natural insulating blanket: the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap some of the sun’s heat energy and help maintain Earth’s temperature range. Earth’s greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. Greenhouse Effect Sunlight Some heat escapes into space Greenhouse gases trap some heat Atmosphere Earth’s surface

6 The Greenhouse Effect

7 The Greenhouse Effect Sunlight Some heat escapes into space Greenhouse
gases trap some heat Atmosphere Earth’s surface

8 The Effect of Latitude on Climate
Due to differences in latitude and the angle of heating, Earth has three main climate zones: polar, temperate, and tropical. Different Latitudes 90°N North Pole Sunlight 66.5°N Arctic circle Sunlight Tropic of Cancer 23.5°N Equator Most direct sunlight Tropic of Capricorn 23.5°S Sunlight Arctic circle 66.5°S Sunlight 90°S South Pole

9 Earth’s Climate Zones

10 Heat Transport in the Biosphere
The unequal heating of the Earth’s surface drives winds and ocean currents which move heat through the biosphere. Convection currents are created as warm air or water rises (upwelling) and cold air or water sinks. This movement of water and air creates the prevailing wind and water currents.

11 Earth’s Ocean Currents

12 Effect of Water & Landmasses
Water can cool or heat the air above affecting weather on nearby landmasses. Geographical boundaries can also affect weather and climate. ex: mountains

13 Section 4.2 – What Shapes an Ecosystem?
Biotic factors – the biological (living) influences on organisms within an ecosystem. Abiotic factors – the physical, or nonliving factors that shape ecosystems. Together, biotic and abiotic factors determine the survival and growth of an organism and the productivity of the ecosystem in which the organism lives.

14 Abiotic and Biotic Factors
Abiotic Factors Biotic Factors ECOSYSTEM

15 The area where an organism
lives is called its habitat. A habitat includes both biotic and abiotic factors.

16 If an organism’s habitat is its address, its niche is its occupation.
A niche is the full range of physical and biological conditions in which an organism lives and the way in which the organism uses those conditions. An organism’s niche includes the type of food it eats, how it obtains food, its place in the food web, the temperature it needs to survive, where it lives, how and when it reproduces, etc. A niche is basically an organism’s role in the ecosystem. The competitive exclusion principle states that no two species can share the same niche in the same habitat at the same time. If they would, competition would result death or displacement of one of the species. However, different species can occupy niches that are very similar.

17 Three Species of Warblers and Their Niches
Cape May Warbler Feeds at the tips of branches near the top of the tree Bay-Breasted Warbler Feeds in the middle part of the tree Yellow-Rumped Warbler Feeds in the lower part of the tree and at the bases of the middle branches Spruce tree

18 Different Niches in the Galapagos
Blue-footed, red-footed, and nazca boobies exist in the Galapagos Islands. In order to co-exist, these birds must have different niches. They nest in different locations and hunt for food in different areas of the ocean.

19 Community Interactions
When organisms live together in ecological communities, they interact constantly. These interactions help shape the ecosystem in which they live. Community interactions such as competition, predation, and various forms of symbiosis can powerfully affect an ecosystem.

20 Competition Competition occurs when organisms attempt to use an ecological resource in the same place at the same time. The term resource refers to any necessity of life. Ex: water, nutrients, light, food, space, mates, etc.

21 Predation An interaction in which one organism captures and feeds on another organism is called predation. The predator captures and feeds on the prey.

22 Lynx and Snowshoe Hare Predator-Prey Relationship

23 Symbiosis Any relationship in which two species live closely together is called symbiosis. Biologists recognize three types of symbiotic relationships in nature: - Mutualism Commensalism - Parasitism

24 Mutualism In a mutualism, both species benefit from the relationship.

25 Commensalism In commensalism, one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed.

26 Parasitism In parasitism, one organism lives on or inside another organism and benefits, while harming it.

27 Ecological Succession
Ecosystems are constantly changing in response to natural and human disturbances. As an ecosystem changes, older inhabitants gradually die out and new organisms move in, causing further changes in the community. The series of predictable changes that occur in a community over time in called ecological succession. The 2 main types of succession are primary succession and secondary succession.

28 Primary Succession Primary Succession – succession that occurs where there is no soil (after a volcanic eruption) The first organism to start primary succession is called a pioneer species. Lichens are usually the pioneer species that break up rock and eventually form soil.

29 Secondary Succession Secondary Succession – occurs when soil is already present after a disturbance. Ex: after a farmer plows or after a forest fire The final and most stable stage of succession is called a climax community. (until another disturbance)

30 Succession in a Marine Ecosystem
First stage: Large whale dies and sinks attracting scavangers. Second stage: smaller decomposers take over and nutrients enter the soil for worms. Third stage: Bacteria break down the bones leading to bacteria eating organisms like mussels, snails, worms, crabs, and clams.

31 Section Biomes Ecologists group Earth’s diverse environments into biomes. A biome is a complex community that is characterized by climate, wildlife, and types of soil. There are ten major biomes with a gradual transition between the biomes. Plants and animals are adapted to live in specific biomes, but they have certain tolerances to survive and reproduce that differ from their optimal conditions. Even within a particular biome there are microclimates which are small areas that differs from surrounding climates

32 The World’s Major Land Biomes
Tropical rain forest Temperate grassland Temperate forest Tundra Tropical dry forest Desert Northwestern coniferous forest Mountains and ice caps Tropical savanna Temperate woodland and shrubland Boreal forest (Taiga)

33 Ten Major Biomes Biome Precipitation Temperature Soil Diversity Trees
Grasses Tropical Rain Forest high hot poor dense sparse Tropical Dry Forest variable mild rich moderate medium Tropical Savanna clay Desert low Temperate Grassland summer hot absent Temperate woodland and Shrubland summer low, winter moderate Temperate Forest summer moderate, winter cold Northwestern Coniferous Forest summer mild, winter cold rocky, acidic Boreal Forest summer mild, winter cool poor, acidic Tundra summer mild, winter cold

34 Average Annual Temperature & Precipitation of Land Biomes

35 Tropical Rain Forest Tropical Rain Forest – incredible genetic diversity – dense tree covering called a canopy – under the canopy is the understory – warm, wet, and nutrient poor soils

36 Tropical Dry Forest Tropical Dry Forest – less rainfall – forest is deciduous – rich soils subject to erosion

37 Tropical Savanna Tropical Savanna – even less rainfall – typically covered in grasses with few trees – frequent fires set by lightning

38 Temperate Grassland Temperate Grassland – grasses with very fertile soil – warm summers and cold winters

39 Desert Desert – less than 25 cm of rain a year – many undergo extreme temp. changes between day and night – soils rich in nutrients but poor in organic material – animals must be very hardy to handle the extremes

40 Temperate Woodland and Shrubland
Temperate Woodland and Shrubland – semiarid – hot dry summers with cool moist winters – nutrient poor soil – fires common

41 Temperate (Deciduous) Forest
Temperate Forest – deciduous and coniferous trees – cold winters with hot summers – soil rich in humus – year round precipitation (known for change in seasons)

42 Northwestern Coniferous Forest
Northwestern Coniferous Forest – mild, moist air from Pacific Ocean. Known for conifers and giant redwoods. Found in NW U.S. up through Canada and Alaska. Also known as Temperate rain forest.

43 Boreal Forest (Taiga) Boreal Forest – taiga – cold winters, short mild summers – nutrient poor soil – think Canada and Russia

44 Tundra Tundra – permafrost is the permanently frozen subsoil – very cold – short cool summers – cold and wind limit plant growth

45 Mountains and Ice Caps Some areas do not fall into any of these biomes. Mountain Ranges can have all the biomes in just a few miles. Polar Ice Caps can be covered by 5 km of ice with very little life.

46 Section 4.4 - Aquatic Ecosystems
Aquatic ecosystems are determined primarily by depth (light), flow, temp, and chemistry of the water (salinity). Freshwater Ecosystems – have two types: flowing water and standing water ecosystems 1) Flowing water ecosystems include streams, creeks, and rivers – the turbulent water has high levels of dissolved oxygen, but the water has few nutrients

47 2) Standing water ecosystems include lakes and ponds – water flows in and out of the system and in the body of water there is a circulation of nutrients, heat, and oxygen Plankton is the tiny, free-floating organisms that live in freshwater and saltwater environments. – these bodies of water have both types of plankton; phytoplankton (plants and algae) and zooplankton (animals) – these plankton make up the base of the food chain

48 There are 3 types; bogs, marshes, and swamps
Freshwater Wetlands – an ecosystem of water covering soil or is present at or near the surface of the soil for at least part of the year – the water may be standing or flowing – serve as breeding grounds for many organisms There are 3 types; bogs, marshes, and swamps – bogs are dominated by moss, found in depressions were water collects – marshes are found along rivers – swamps have slowly flowing water and trees and shrubs distinguish them from marshes Bog Marsh Swamp

49 Freshwater Pond Ecosystem
Spoonbill Frogs lay eggs in the shallow water near shore.The eggs hatch in the water as tadpoles and move to the land as adults. The shore is lined with grasses that provide shelter and nesting places for birds and other organisms. The roots of water lilies cling to the pond bottom, while their leaves, on long flexible stems, float on the surface. The bottom of the pond is inhabited by decomposers and other organisms that feed on particles drifting down from the Fish share the pond with turtles and other animals. Many of them feed on insects at the water’s edge. Plankton and the organisms that feed on them live near the surface where there is enough sunlight for photosynthesis. Microscopic algae are among the most important producers. Duck Water lilies Frog Dragonfly Mosquito larvae Duckweed Phytoplankton Snail Pickerel Diving beetle Trout Hydra Crayfish Snail Benthic crustaceans

50 Estuaries Estuaries are areas where a river meets
the sea and a mix of salt and fresh water is subject to the rise and fall of the tides. Producers include plants, algae & bacteria Producers usually make detritus. Estuaries have lots of biomass and serve as a breeding area. Salt marshes: defined by grasses Mangrove swamps: coastal areas defined by salt tolerant trees. Estuary Salt Marsh Mangrove Swamp

51 Marine Ecosystems Marine Ecosystems – the 2 zones are the Photic (light penetrates to about 200m) and the Aphotic (no light where the only producers are chemosynthetic autotrophs)

52 Marine Ecosystems (con’t)
Marine Biologists also divide the ocean into zones based on depth and distance from shore; the intertidal zone, the coastal ocean and open ocean.

53 Figure 4-17 Zones of a Marine Ecosystem
land Photic zone 200m Coastal ocean 1000m Open ocean 4000m Aphotic zone 6000m Ocean trench 10,000m Continental shelf Continental slope and continental rise Abyssal plain

54 Zones of the Ocean Intertidal Zone – organisms live both above and below the water depending on the tide – competition in this zone leads to zonation, which is the horizontal banding of organisms that live in particular habitats.

55 Zones of the Ocean Coastal Ocean – extends from low tide to the outer edge of the continental shelf – shallow enough to fall within the photic zone – the kelp forests can be found here.

56 Zones of the Ocean Coral Reefs – in warm shallow coastal waters – the most genetically diverse areas on earth – named after the corals which are tiny animals that produce a calcium carbonate skeleton.

57 Zones of the Ocean Open Ocean – makes up more than 90% of the surface area of the world’s oceans. Low levels of nutrients and only small producers (plankton). Fishes of all shapes and sizes dominate the open ocean.

58 Zones of the Ocean Benthic Zone – The ocean floor contains organisms that live attached to or near the bottom, such as sea stars, anemones, and marine worms. Scientists refer to these organisms as the benthos. This zone extends horizontally along the ocean floor from the coastal ocean through the open ocean.

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